PUNE: “We live in a patriarchal society where lots of atrocities are happening against women. Women are called victims but it’s actually the mind of a male who is a victim. Women may be physically incompatible to men but mentally they can become very strong if they support and lend their voices to one another,” said Lt. Gen. Dr. Madhuri Kanitkar, AVSM, VSM.
She was speaking on an online discussion called ‘Journey of Dreams to Reality’ organized by FICCI Ladies Organisation (FLO) Pune Chapter Chairperson, Dr. Aneeta Sanas in presence of Sangeeta Lalwani, Past Chairperson of the FLO Pune Chapter and Member of the National Governing Body of FLO and Jahnabi Phookan, National FLO President among other members.
“We have to liberate men rather than women from the patriarchal mindset and also educate parents to bring their sons up like daughters and not the other way around,” said Kanitkar also a pediatrician who was recently promoted to the post of Lieutenant General, which is the second-highest post in the Indian Army.
Speaking on her journey in the Armed Forces Kanitkar, who is the only doctor on the Prime Minister’s Science, Technology and Innovation Advisory Council said, “My father was initially against me joining the army but for me, it was ‘love at first sight’. It happened so when I visited the AFMC institute in Pune and got impressed by the discipline and infrastructure there and decided to pursue it. I was persistent and I guess, it is the smaller battles at home that prepare you for the greater battles ahead. It is the inner strength that can make your dreams come true.”
According to her, even though the armed forces are dominated by males, it is not dominated by gender stereotypes.
“The ratio of men in the forces will continue to be higher but it will take time to change. It’s capability, professionalism, and competence that matters and not the gender of a person. But women should follow their dreams with passion with dedication and if something excites them then the sky is the limit. They only need to make a choice and fight for it,” she said.
Speaking on the recent pandemic, Kanitakar said that the armed forces had done well to tackle the virus by helping expatriates return from other countries and also setting up 28 COVID hospitals and testing facilities across the country. “It’s the never-say-die attitude of the army that helped tackle COVID,”.
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